Thursday, July 28, 2016

Book Review: How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

Genre: YA Paranormal Mystery
Publication: July 26th 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Acquisition: received an ARC at ALAAC 2016

Synopsis:
Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?
If dealing with that weren't enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with the Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it's Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.
(from Goodreads)
5 / 5 Stars

I've loved Salem Massachusetts for a long time. It started in history class when we studied the Witch Trials. Then in English we picked apart The Crucible. THEN came the first of many trips to visit the town IRL (once on Halloween night...I wouldn't really recommend it!)

It's a fascinating place. It's a layered city full of history, tourism and modern day paganism. It's all there and depending on what you are looking for there is so much to explore.

Because of my Salem love, I was actually a little worried about How to Hang a Witch. Witchcraft is a personal thing for me and I've read many a book that depict it horribly.

I found that I had absolutely nothing to worry about. How to Hang a Witch isn't just a story of witchcraft. It's a story of history and magic and prejudice and family and ghosts!

Adriana Mather is a descendant of the infamous Cotton Mather from the Salem Witch Trails. Cotton was a lot more complicated then history books highlight and Samantha is an equally complicated fictional representation.

I loved how detailed everything was especially the history of the original Witch Trial families - the modern day characters that walk the halls of their school like then own the place! A little unrealistic but it makes for some fantastic story telling.

And the ghost! Oh my! The ghost!

Oh! And the ending!

Ok, I didn't really love the ending. BUT I was totally taken by surprise by it. I was so so sure I knew what was really happening to Samantha. There were even times when I rolled my eyes because - OMG it was so obvious! But...I was really really wrong. And that's awesome even if I didn't love why I was really really wrong.

Also...there is romance...and it took a weird turn...and I wasn't really happy about it. BUT lots of other things happened and in the end, all was good...ish.

Overall, I really really loved this book. It's a fantastic telling of a town, so entrenched in it's own history that the inhabitants might be just be destined to repeat it all.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: X-FILES!!!!!!

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and focuses on books we are super excited about!

Today's Picks


The X-Files Origins: Agent of Chaos by Kami Garcia
AND
The X-Files Origins: Devil's Advocate by by Jonathan Maberry

January 3rd 2017 by Imprint
GOODREADS | GOODREADS

Why I'm Excited
OMG! Are you kidding me! Of course I'm excited. I will never NOT be excited for anything X-Files related!

X-FILES FOR LIFE!

Agent of Chaos explores the teen years of Fox Mulder and Devil's Advocate will explore the teen years of Dana Scully. Set in the Spring of 1979, both books are full of serial murders, government conspiracy and the occult.

AND teenage Mulder and Scully - OMG!

I'm so excited!

What are you waiting on today?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Book Review: Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun

Genre: YA Futuristic Fantasy
Publication: April 2016 by Harlequin TEEN
Acquisition: received an ARC at ALA Midwinter 2016

Synopsis:
As heir to a kingdom of floating continents, Kali has spent her life bound by limits—by her duties as a member of the royal family, by a forced betrothal to the son of a nobleman, and by the edge of the only world she’s ever known—a small island hovering above a monster-ridden earth, long since uninhabited by humans. She is the Eternal Flame of Hope for what’s left of mankind, the wick and the wax burning in service for her people, and for their revered Phoenix, whose magic keeps them aloft.

When Kali falls off the edge of her kingdom and miraculously survives, she is shocked to discover there are still humans on the earth. Determined to get home, Kali entrusts a rugged monster-hunter named Griffin to guide her across a world overrun by chimera, storm dragons, basilisks, and other terrifying beasts. But the more time she spends on earth, the more dark truths she begins to uncover about her home in the sky, and the more resolute she is to start burning for herself.
(from Goodreads)
5 / 5 Stars

Heir to the Sky has a lot of things going for it -futuristic, fantasy, dystopian, mystery, romance without insta love or love triangles.

Any two of these qualities would do it for me, so, all of them together in one awesome package?! Fantastic!

I seriously enjoyed this book.

Lots of great imagery, and some fabulous character development. The setting was beyond awesome - and this was with me assuming I knew everything that was going on (I didn't).

If anything, I want to say that the ending was a little too rushed. Maybe? I could see the story being really drawn out over a 2 or 3 book series and I'm so so happy that isn't the case. So, yeah, maybe things came together a little too quickly at the end but I think it worked for the story.

Heir to the Sky is a book that stayed with me after finishing. I loved the floating continents and I loved how Kali pieces together the truth of her world.

A quick read for me that I think fans of many different genres would really enjoy. Nothing was overdone - the mystery and fantasy elements combine pretty perfectly with the futuristic, quasi dystopian setting.

Love it!


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: dotwav by Mike A. Lancaster

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and focuses on books we are super excited about!

Today's Pick


dotwav
by Mike A. Lancaster

September 6th 2016 by Sky Pony Press
GOODREADS

Why I'm Excited
I was actually lucky enough to get an ARC of dotwav at ALAAC last month (thank you Sky Pony Press!)
BUT! I couldn't pass up the opportunity to highlight it today.
Mike Lancaster's Human .4 and 1.4 are among my absolute favorite ya sci-fi and seriously, if sci-fi is your thing you NEED to read the Point series AND get dotwav on your wishlist!

What are you waiting on today?

Sunday, July 10, 2016

ALA Updates and Pics

Hey guys!

Family things kept me from blogging last week and even though you might be so over seeing posts of ALA, I wanted to share my little bit.

Orlando heat and humidity aside, ALA was fabulous. The convention center was a bit hard to navigate and I still wish these 'big' library conferences weren't quiet so 'big' but the sessions I did manage to find and get to were pretty great. I took away a lot of useful info for myself and my co-workers.

Also, there is something about being in a place with so many other people who feel just as passionately as you do about a particular subject (librarying! books!).
It's very recharging!

The (boring? ;) academic stuffs I'll save for my co-workers. You guys get to see...THE BOOKS!

In case you couldn't tell, I'm a #dramallama free blogger and while I did see and hear about 'bad' behavior, it doesn't affect me or how I blog. With that said, you may notice some duplicate copies in my pics below - not going into long explanations BUT if you want details on how or why I took home any of these copies, please ask. I strive for 100% transparency!

Ok - ON WITH THE BOOKS!


Ha! These lovely pics were taken while sitting on the floor packing up a box to ship :)
Thank the heavens for the on site Post Office!


Lots of different ones in these piles - and please please just ask about the doubles you see instead of making assumptions.


I feel so very lucky that I was able to take all of these beauties home!

My favorites:
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Nemesis by Anna Banks
The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner
The Ones by Daniel Sweren-Becker
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige
Dotwav by Mike Lancaster